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scarletpeaches
12-30-2007, 11:36 PM
Yes folks; a serious thread from SP - who'd'a thunk it?

I'll start.

The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was...I'm a YA writer. It was a revelation to me when I finally figured it out. I like to read YA. A lot of what I write didn't quite fit into chick-lit as the protagonists were a bit too young; their life concerns weren't all shoes, jobs and boyfriends...then one day, I realised...I write YA. Everything slotted into place; I'm a YA writer! :D

So. Do tell. What's your big discovery of '07?

Uncarved
12-30-2007, 11:40 PM
My big discovery is that I'm worth more than a few pennies a word. I latched on to some better paying gigs and now have a resolution for the new year in place in regards to my writing. I finally started taking it seriously and wasn't ashamed of my work. That was a HUGE revelation to me.

Next?

mum23
12-30-2007, 11:42 PM
Yes folks; a serious thread from SP - who'd'a thunk it?

I'll start.

The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was...I'm a YA writer. It was a revelation to me when I finally figured it out. I like to read YA. A lot of what I write didn't quite fit into chick-lit as the protagonists were a bit too young; their life concerns weren't all shoes, jobs and boyfriends...then one day, I realised...I write YA. Everything slotted into place; I'm a YA writer! :D

So. Do tell. What's your big discovery of '07?

My work isn't all about shoes, jobs and boyfriends. What catagory do I fit into then?

jenngreenleaf
12-30-2007, 11:47 PM
I learned A LOT about myself as a writer in 2007. A.Lot.

The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was that a postive "can do" attitude creates positive results.

I have a huge issue with self-esteem when it comes to career choices and advancement. In October, I was able to look passed all of that "rubbish" and I saw immediate changes [for the better]. Life kicked me in the chops again and, at first, I thought it was a sign for change. It wasn't, though. It was just a challenge presenting itself, as they always do, to work passed and keep moving forward.

melaniehoo
12-30-2007, 11:49 PM
I learned I had an entire book inside me. This was the first time I'd ever written an entire MS.

brokenfingers
12-30-2007, 11:49 PM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was...

I may not be a writer after all.

Williebee
12-30-2007, 11:51 PM
I'm lazy and easily distracted.

And I can overcome both of those things.

unless there's chocolate.

kristie911
12-30-2007, 11:53 PM
Thanks to NaNo, I realized that when I put my mind to it I can actually write.

Now if I could just finish that damned NaNo novel. I guess I've also realized I'm a lazy writer. :)

mum23
12-30-2007, 11:53 PM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was...

I may not be a writer after all.

I think many will feel like this. As melaniehoo said "I learned I had an entire book inside me. This was the first time I'd ever written an entire MS."

This is something I did in 2006. Produced this work of art (or so I thought) to have it completely slammed. What I did learn was "show and tell" THE most important lesson of 2007!

Esopha
12-30-2007, 11:53 PM
I discovered that I am actually a writer. Which is pretty exciting.

Birol
12-31-2007, 12:18 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was...

I may not be a writer after all.

Explain, please.

Zelenka
12-31-2007, 12:31 AM
Most important thing I learned in 2007 was probably that, if I am any sort of writer, I am a fantasy writer. I don't have any talent for historical fiction, thrillers or 'literary' type stuff, but I can make worlds and play with the cliches and the conventions of the fantasy genre to produce something I think will be good and some people seem to like, and I am quite happy doing that.

I only learned that in the last few months though, so just scraped into 2007...

brokenfingers
12-31-2007, 12:36 AM
Explain, please. Hmmmm… Well, I don’t want to derail someone else’s thread so I’ll be brief.

What I meant by my statement was that I seemed to have lost that drive that writers have.

I was in a good zone when the year began, writing pretty regularly but I became extremely busy with life and work in the spring and since then haven’t been able to get back into it. No work on my WIP, no work on a new WIP (that I find intriguing and really like), no shorts and no poetry.

The thing is that even now, I still come up with ideas for shorts and my WIP still lingers in my head, but I just can’t seem to connect any of that to my fingertips. They are truly broken.

I’m just on a hiatus I suppose but I miss the rush of a good day’s writing, the thrill of creation and the satisfying feeling of accomplishment that accompanies it.

So, ultimately, it’s no big deal. Just a lull in the storm.

ETA: Another odd thing - I can't seem to read anymore either. Don't know if it's related or not, but I am having the hardest time just getting myself to actually read a book. Something unprecedented in my life.

scarletpeaches
12-31-2007, 12:38 AM
Don't worry about the urge. It's not always there. Sometimes writing is a grind. It's what you do when you don't feel passionate about writing that matters. That's when you prove your dedication.

And hey...the amount of threads I've derailed?! Feel free!

Toothpaste
12-31-2007, 01:07 AM
broken - you may just need a breather. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our passions that they become stale, we forget why we are doing what we are doing in the first place. The good news is if you really are passionate about writing, you'll come back to it. The other good news is if you you really are not passionate about writing, you'll stop and find something else.

As for me, I've learned this year that I can force creativity. That even if I'm not in the mood to write, I can come up with something pretty solid. I've also learned that I am a writer. That may sound odd, but I was really worried all I had was one book in me. Having finished number 2, in whatever shape it is in, I have a lot more confidence in myself.

A. Hamilton
12-31-2007, 01:24 AM
I learned in 2007 that I don't trust my own instinct when it comes to my creativity,but that I should. Also that I don't recognize my own words when I read them. I'm still figuring out what this means but one realization is that even though I once considered that maybe I am not the writer I hoped, it's not true. I'm better. I deeply desire to write, and can write well when I focus.
I've acknowledged my laziness for a long time, but this year I found I do have more discipline inside me than I thought, and see that much of my issue comes from plain ole' not having enough time. Knowing this will help me be more productive in '08 as I designate more of my personal time to write. It's what's important to me.

I went through a period where I lost interest in reading, but it was then I wrote the most poetry. I'm reading again now, but hesitantly. I tend to write in response to what I take in, so I'm a little afraid to read a lot, because I'm afraid of then not being able to come up with my own original ideas.

Claudia Gray
12-31-2007, 01:31 AM
I learned a lot about my writing, but feel like I had a handle on myself as a writer, if that makes sense.

TrickyFiction
12-31-2007, 01:33 AM
I learned that a story can come from a single scene, a character description, one word.
It's like a dark road. If I follow it, I find it just keeps going.

WriterInChains
12-31-2007, 01:35 AM
I learned that even if you only write a few words per day they really add up over time. 2007 was one of my most productive years, & I didn't have a "per day" or "per week" goal -- just new words every day.

This year I wrote & polished a novel that's getting some attention from agents, started & finished one short story and drafted two others (s/stories usually take me 2-3 years before I'm comfortable submitting them), and am about 40K words into another full length ms. Some days, to say I wrote a paragraph is stretching it -- I work 45-50 hours/week & just moved in November.

Very cool thread, Scarlet! :)

swvaughn
12-31-2007, 01:49 AM
Nice thread, Scarlet! Since you're being serious, I'll do the same (also unusual for me).

This year I discovered that I really am a writer, and I write fiction. Therefore, I can no longer churn out soulless ad copy and be a part of bilking other writers who don't know any better out of hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of dollars for a service that just doesn't do what it claims to do (and no, I do not/have not work(ed) for PublishAmerica). Even if it was the only thing paying the bills.

Therefore, I now work at McDonalds, which really doesn't pay the bills too well, and have put all of my writing efforts into the revisions my agent has asked for, in the hopes that this novel will be the one to finally sell.

So I guess this year I've learned that being a starving artist isn't so bad compared to selling my soul. I may be broke, but I'm not a sleaze any more. And hey, I get free pies and cookies if there's any left over at the end of the night, so maybe I won't starve after all. :)

DeleyanLee
12-31-2007, 02:53 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was to play to my strengths as a writer and stop working on stories that accentuated my weaknesses.

Saanen
12-31-2007, 03:13 AM
I learned that persistence in selling my writing is as important as the writing itself. Before this year I'd never sold any fiction. This year I sold nine stories, made the semi-finals of the Writers of the Future contest, and have a requested full out with a major publisher. None of that would have happened if I hadn't decided to keep sending out stories until they sold, instead of retiring them after they'd gotten a few rejections each as I used to do.

lfraser
12-31-2007, 04:02 AM
[quote=brokenfingers;1921096] ETA: Another odd thing - I can't seem to read anymore either. Don't know if it's related or not, but I am having the hardest time just getting myself to actually read a book. Something unprecedented in my life.

I went through that for a time earlier this year -- part of the total frustration I was feeling about my writing. All the joy went out of reading. I couldn't imagine ever being able to write well enough to ever be published, or even just to write well enough not to be ashamed of my work. It might have been simple envy, but I think it went deeper than that. I think I'd started thinking of reading as purely a learning exercise and forgotten how to just enjoy a book.

The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was that while my writing is not as awful as I thought it was, my plotting leaves a lot to be desired.

brokenfingers
12-31-2007, 04:35 AM
I went through that for a time earlier this year -- part of the total frustration I was feeling about my writing. All the joy went out of reading. I couldn't imagine ever being able to write well enough to ever be published, or even just to write well enough not to be ashamed of my work. It might have been simple envy, but I think it went deeper than that. I think I'd started thinking of reading as purely a learning exercise and forgotten how to just enjoy a book.I totally understand what you're saying but, oddly enough, I've never felt that about my writing. I'm pretty confident about my writing and my ability to get better. Plus, I feel I have very marketable ideas as far as my premises go.

I had a hellacious summer this year, the hardest ever I believe, and in hindsight, I think it took more out of me than I initially realized.

My writing hiatus is just one of the aftereffects, I believe.

One of the things that bugged me recently was the fact that I totally missed out on the recent spate of writing contests. I usually LOVE doing those but could not type a single word for a single one of them - even though I had some ideas and the desire to enter them.

This saddened me.

narnia
12-31-2007, 04:38 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was the fact that I really really really want to be one, accompanied by depressing gobs of why the heck did it take me so long to follow a childhood dream sweetly tempered by generous amounts of support, encouragement, and guidance from folks here at AW.

:Sun:

Cranky
12-31-2007, 04:49 AM
The biggest thing I've learned this year is that I am not nearly as good as I thought I was, and only half as awful as I think I am.

I've been eating a lot of humble pie, truth be told, but it's good for me. Not the least bit fattening. :)

The other big thing I learned is to keep trying, to keep writing, no matter how craptastic I think it is, or how much real life keeps trying to interfere.

III
12-31-2007, 04:53 AM
Great thread, SP. The most important thing for me in 2007 was gaining a better understanding of my weaknesses. I think I'm a good storyteller in general, but I also tend to do too much info dumping, use too much passive voice, and take too long to get into the heart of a scene. I'm really trying to focus on writing "tighter" in 2008.

MissLadyRae
12-31-2007, 04:56 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007:

Not to put a timeline on success (it comes in its own due time pertinent to each person) and to never stop shooting for each new goal.

It's easy to say, but the former took me a while to grasp.

Oh! And I also learned that while I always considered myself a science fiction author, I may be a speculative romance author instead. :)

PrettySpecialGal
12-31-2007, 05:35 AM
My most important lesson this year was when I learned that I can finish something I started-- not just go with an idea until the thrill peters out. I set my mind to write this book-- got the gig, wrote it-- finished it and just approved the final edit. Next month will show the fruit of my lesson-- I had always hoped for it, but my lack of follow-through in the past made me doubt myself still. However, the whole family climbed aboard and gave an unbelieveable amount of support. So now, I have a 268-page history book/travel guide-- with my name on the FRONT COVER- AH! So, while I learned that I CAN finish something I've started, it is because of the hubby and kiddos that I found it within myself to do so.

So that all leads the second lesson-- I CAN write Non-Fiction. Thought I was a Fiction writer all this time (still think it's in there) but the NF ended up being kind of fun-- like it more than I ever thought I would. I've also done some fun writing on the side that has expanded my writing horizons as well. There's been a lot of risk taking for me this year-- and I've not only learned about myself, but had fun in the process as well.

Oh- and despite the fact that I entered 3 or so poetry contests here at AW, I'm still a prose gal.

Paula Boon
12-31-2007, 06:22 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was that I was capable of landing an agent.

Now, here's hoping that in 2008 I learn that the book we're polishing up is fantastically attractive to publishers...

shakeysix
12-31-2007, 06:25 AM
#1. i am not a genius.

#2. i am not a total buffoon.

joyce
12-31-2007, 06:36 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer this year is I can finish a manuscript. In fact by tomorrow I will have finished the first draft of manuscript #2. Two in one year......I never would have believed it from myself. I've also learned that I can handle the rejection it takes in trying to find an agent and getting published.

Cath
12-31-2007, 06:38 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was...in the past, I didn't have enough faith in my own writing, but that I can do it if I try hard enough.

Serena Casey
12-31-2007, 06:46 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was the fact that I really really really want to be one
Me, too. I'm still not to the point where I can refer to myself as a writer without hedging, even to myself, but I am getting there. And I learned that I have more than just one novel in meónot sure yet what all's in there, but things are bubbling to the surface.

DragonHeart
12-31-2007, 07:26 AM
I've learned that when I actually sit down and put the effort in (instead of just thinking about doing it) I can produce. I know, I already know this particular lesson, but I still haven't put it into use. The problem is my inability to commit to any single project. I enjoy writing (if I didn't I wouldn't do it); the issue at hand is my inherently lazy nature. If I can put that beast to rest, I'm certain I can overcome the rest of my shortcomings. Or at least the worst of them.

Which is, naturally, my main goal for the coming year.

~DragonHeart~

bethany
12-31-2007, 07:33 AM
I don't know, it's all a paradox. Plan more, but don't plan so much you lose inspiration. Talk about your writing, but don't talk so much that you don't write (damn the random musing thread in YA). Get excited about stuff that's happening, but not so excited that you can't focus.

Judg
12-31-2007, 07:45 AM
That I can't write if I don't know what I'm talking about or what's going to happen next. Sometimes I need to do some research or some brainstorming to break a logjam.

ishtar'sgate
12-31-2007, 10:05 AM
I've found so many more creative ways to procrastinate.:)
Linnea

Stormhawk
12-31-2007, 10:56 AM
1) I write urban fantasy
2) A complete lack of confidence is really bad for writing
3) Tomorrow's always better than today
4) Chocolate makes writer's block better

Danger Jane
12-31-2007, 11:54 AM
what a difference the world's best writing partner makes.

how much easier is it to think about your goals when you finally can articulate those goals.

Bartholomew
12-31-2007, 12:55 PM
I discovered that I absolutely cannot write under any pressure, whatsoever, so PLEASE STOP CALLING ME, CHARLES!

Enzo
12-31-2007, 02:39 PM
In November I discovered that I can write much faster than I ever thought I could. In other words, I discovered I was a lazy writer.
In 2008, I want to keep up the momentum, finish my first WIP and find a publisher for it. Apart from dabbling in competitions and working on WIP2, that is.

Thomma Lyn
12-31-2007, 03:30 PM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was that I can weather a slump, plant my butt back in that saddle, then experience an incredible burst of creativity: 2007 was the year of the worst writing slump I have ever experienced (springtime into summer), followed by the most creative period I've ever experienced (rough-drafted two new novels from July to November :D ).

The ups and downs of 2007 helped me realize how tough and determined I truly am.

Great thread!

larocca
12-31-2007, 04:36 PM
I discovered that, as a writer, I'm not dead yet. After WHO MOVED MY RICE? in 2003, I quit writing for four years before storming back with yet another book. So I guess I can still do everything I could when I was young, just not as often.

(Time for my 8 hours of sleep and a bowl of Wheaties, Richard Pryor fans.)

triceretops
12-31-2007, 05:26 PM
Writing from the heart, and writing what I love to write might work for most other writers. But my attempts usually ended up with something that was not commercial and too overly used or cliche. I now write straight for the popular market, so I guess I'm an ambulance chaser now. I do love my new genre, because I love words period. I've learned to adapt incredibly, and really hone those first pages, getting things off to a roaring or interesting start.

I'm happy I sold three books in 2007, even if they were to small press. It was a slight vindication. But I'm now prepped and ready for the majors. I'm hoping that 2008 will truly set me free.

Tri

larocca
12-31-2007, 05:41 PM
Call Douglas Wambaugh when you need someone to get there before the ambulance.

Shadow_Ferret
12-31-2007, 05:46 PM
I learned that I don't handle rejection well.

Actually, I already knew that, so I guess I also learned that my confidence in my abilities is waning greatly.

DaddyCat
12-31-2007, 06:05 PM
I re-learned that I have always been a writer at heart. In all those years spent in Information Technology, I was never happier than when I was communicating through the written word. I contrived every excuse to write columns for company newsletters, articles for the user group newsletters, and system documentation for clients and colleagues. At one point I even built a website to host articles I wrote for fun.

Last summer I finally got fed up with the farce that the computer industry has become, and through a friend's recommendation landed a steady contracting job writing grant proposals. Now it's time to start listening to all the people who have enjoyed my writing, and branch out into the more creative forms.

donroc
12-31-2007, 06:05 PM
I learned to believe -- better yet reinforced belief in myself that I would eventually sell my novels despite stacks of rejections, and I did sell two. I also learned I can be better at self-editing before I hand over my work to the editors.

www.donaldmichaelplatt.com

Azure Skye
12-31-2007, 07:12 PM
I've learned so many different things but I'll only relate a few:

1. I can finish what I start, over and over and over again. For me, this is/was important.

2. I'm not just a one-trick pony -- I do have other books inside me.

3. I don't need to be inspired or in the mood to write. BIC is muse enough for me.

4. I need to outline. (No, I'm not starting a fight here, but for me, it works)

5. Probably the biggest thing, learning to trust my writerly instinct.

Siddow
12-31-2007, 07:18 PM
I learned that no amount of tools--the right computer, the right printer, perfect pens, notebooks--will make me a better writer if I don't sit my ass down and use them. 2007 was my least productive year yet. But I've got lots of shiny new tools.

Norman D Gutter
12-31-2007, 07:31 PM
I learned that I'm not sure I want to follow the long road to publication. Platform-building just to make a name so that I can publish novels is not my idea of a good time.

Pat~
12-31-2007, 07:55 PM
I learned that I'm not at all disciplined about writing, though I enjoy it. When I'm motivated, I write, but otherwise I'm not terribly productive. I rarely make NY resolutions, but for 2008 I am going to try to set aside a regular time for writing daily.

jenngreenleaf
12-31-2007, 08:09 PM
(In addition to what I posted about already, I'm learning a lot from the posts in this thread! Thanks for starting it, SP! :))

DonnaDuck
12-31-2007, 10:01 PM
I learned that, despite my vehement bouts that I couldn't write comedy, I find out that I can albeit slightly demented. This was also the year that I got up off my ass, started writing out stories and submitting them for publication, something I haven't done seriously (submitting anyway) for 7 years. I also learned that there are people outside of my family that have faith in my writing beyond even my own meager goals and that's always uplifting. I'm looking forward to what 2008 will bring and it's in line with what my brain is on the brink of, I will be plenty happy!

Gray Rose
12-31-2007, 10:18 PM
In the second part of 2007, I discovered two things.

First, that I actually can write fiction.

Second, that I can tell stories which have a beginning, a middle and an end (as opposed to amorphous worldbuilding and character archetypes that I always had in my head).

Many things came from those two discoveries, most importantly the need to work on the technical aspect of my writing.

ChaosTitan
01-01-2008, 12:58 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was... I'm capable of writing three books (plus one co-written) in a single year.

Hobbes
01-01-2008, 01:19 AM
I learned to trust myself. While I got a ton of rejections, I was also offered a contract for my first novel! Here's to 2008!

Bartholomew
01-01-2008, 01:32 AM
I have learned that ink is the enemy.

Citizen Rob
01-01-2008, 06:24 AM
This might sound trite, but I learned to find my problem words ("that" is a particular bugbear of mine), do a "find word" on my manuscript, and make each and every one of those words defend themselves or face deletion. Taking the time to do so with a 90k word manuscript will teach a little self-restraint in a hurry. Training my internal editor has been good for me, and I suspect my EXTERNAL editor is happy about it, too.

I'd like to say that I also learned patience, but that would be a lie. And no one would believe me anyway.

bunnygirl
01-01-2008, 10:45 AM
I learned to experiment. I went from novels-only to writing serialized blog fiction and flash fiction. I took the stories that were on the web and created POD books and even put one into Kindle format. I've recently started submitting my flash fiction to contests and paying markets, so we'll see where that little experiment goes.

In 2008, one of my goals is to take the things I've learned this year and feed them back into earlier work that I've sidelined, with traditional publication as an end goal.

Kudra
01-02-2008, 02:06 AM
I learned that...

1. I love journalism.
2. I'm actually good at it.

shakeysix
01-02-2008, 02:19 AM
#3. i have grown one small testicle. spiritually of course.

maestrowork
01-02-2008, 02:29 AM
#1: I do have more than one book in me

#2: I am my own worst enemy

blacbird
01-02-2008, 02:34 AM
I've learned that I've evidently advanced from getting form rejections to getting no responses at all.

caw

Shweta
01-02-2008, 04:36 AM
I learned that I will always have another story in me, and I don't need to panic if I don't know what I'm going to write next.

I also learned that I don't have to settle for being a beginner -- I can too write short stories that the pro markets will take.

Not sure which of those is more important :)

althrasher
01-02-2008, 04:55 AM
I've learned that I'm a total procrastinator for sending out queries, probably partly because I'm chicken.

Also, I really enjoy outlining, because it gives me a much better idea of what I'm doing.

And I learned that it's physically impossible to be in classes for 13 hours a day and still have BIC for 2. So I'm going to try to have a less insane semester this year.

jannawrites
01-02-2008, 05:27 AM
I discovered I can actually move forward with my dream of writing, instead of just thinking about it.

Mud Dauber
01-02-2008, 06:59 AM
I've learned that I'm most productive when I'm on a time constraint. I used to write first thing in the morning, right after the kids left for school, when I had the whole day ahead of me. Now I start about an hour or two before they come home from school, and I can't say why, but somehow I can get down to business better when I have a shorter window of time to work with.:Shrug::crazy:

Jersey Chick
01-02-2008, 07:10 AM
The most important thing I learned as a writer in 2007 is that it is much easier for me to write when I have a deadline to meet. The pressure seems to work in my favor. When I have all the time in the world, I tend to be a lazy writer. But when the clock's ticking... I'm pretty productive.

jannawrites
01-02-2008, 07:25 AM
I agree with Mud Dauber and Jersey Chick. The "but I have to do it now" thing makes all the difference in the world.

blacbird
01-02-2008, 07:44 AM
The most important thing I learned as a writer in 2007 is that it is much easier for me to write when I have a deadline to meet.

I imagine it's stimulating to know that somebody actually wants your work. But I can only imagine.

caw

Nyna
01-02-2008, 08:58 AM
I didn't write much in 2007. It's been a really rough couple of years and I've only recently started writing again after a break that was so long I'd started to think I would never write again, and that I'd been kidding myself all along. So what I learned about myself as a writer was mostly that sometimes I have to be okay with not writing, and not beat myself up because I've used up all of my emotional reserves simply handling the rest of my life. I learned that I am both more and less dedicated than I thought I was, that I can reach a point where writing isn't possible, and that it will always be waiting when I'm ready to go back to it. I didn't learn much about the craft, maybe, but I learned a bit about how I relate to it, which is enough for now.

kimmeunier
01-02-2008, 09:17 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was to play to my strengths as a writer and stop working on stories that accentuated my weaknesses.


Me too, I found out through a lot of trial and error that I do have some talent, (fragments of talent, hidden behind rejection,) and that I cannot write every topic, or genre. So I stick to what comes easily for now.

Robin Bayne
01-02-2008, 10:53 PM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was to play to my strengths as a writer and stop working on stories that accentuated my weaknesses.


I think I just figured this out as well. Sometimes what we know will sell may not be our best type of work.

Vandal
01-02-2008, 11:13 PM
I can laugh at rejection.

It is futile to consider writing in the same style as another author.

DancingMaenid
01-03-2008, 05:52 AM
My rough drafts are supposed to suck somewhat. "Rough" means "rough"--not "almost perfect, but in need of a few small changes." Changes are not the end of the world.

truelyana
01-03-2008, 05:52 AM
I could write a novel, well about four chapters of it anyway, and not very good.

jannawrites
01-03-2008, 07:12 AM
I learned it takes discipline to write a novel. Lots and lots of discipline.

johnrobison
01-03-2008, 08:05 AM
I learned that there's an enthusiastic audience for my writing. I found that remarkable, amazing, and thrilling.

Dragonfly45
01-03-2008, 08:10 AM
The thing I learned about myself as a writer in 2007 was that I could have the courage to send my writing out into the world, have it rejected (MANY times), and still be excited about sending my new little story out into the world. So I guess I learned that I'm in love with writing, regardless of if anyone is in love with MY writing. :-)

JeanneTGC
01-03-2008, 08:27 AM
I learned how to get out of the way of my writing, so that I could both write a novel in a month (more than one, in reality) and that the novel I allowed to flow out would be the one that landed me an agent.

poetinahat
01-03-2008, 08:37 AM
I learned that I'll have to write, oh, tens or hundreds of thousands of words before I find out who the heck I am as a writer; I'm maddeningly inconsistent.

And I learned that I depend too much on ten-dollar words, in absence of real ideas. But I like those words, so maybe I belong in the shallow end of the spiritual pool.

kimmeunier
01-03-2008, 09:27 AM
I learned how to get out of the way of my writing, so that I could both write a novel in a month (more than one, in reality) and that the novel I allowed to flow out would be the one that landed me an agent.
You just sat down and wrote a novel in under a month? The first novel you wrote got you an agent? Woweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I am green with envy, but very happy for you. You must be very disciplined and talented.

JeanneTGC
01-03-2008, 09:30 AM
You just sat down and wrote a novel in under a month? The first novel you wrote got you an agent? Woweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee I am green with envy, but very happy for you. You must be very disciplined and talented.
Not the first novel. The first novel where I just let it all flow out and didn't get in the way of it -- I didn't second guess, I didn't overthink it, I just sat down and wrote. That one (and the subsequent 4 novels I've written so far after it) I wrote in a month. And, yeah, that one is the one that landed me an agent.

It's technically the 12th novel I've completed, and the 3rd I considered ready for publication.

seun
01-03-2008, 02:21 PM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was...I'm a YA writer. It was a revelation to me when I finally figured it out.

In a similar vein, I discovered I'm an urban fantasy writer. I always suspected this but didn't totally realise until last year.

Nakhlasmoke
01-03-2008, 05:12 PM
I learned that I *can* write 2000 words a day, whether or not I'm feeling creative, and that sitting around waiting for the muse to come beat me over the head with the inspiration stick is not overly productive.

Number 2 - that my queries suck on every level of suckness, so I'll be jacking that up this year.

And finally, that I'm a better writer than I thought I was, and not quite as wonderful as I would have liked to believe.

:D

Triangulos
01-03-2008, 05:33 PM
How easy it is to slip out of the "Zone", i.e. that state you're in where you can not only devote time to writing, but produce good writing too.

And also how tempting it is to skirt around the problem, convincing yourself that buying a new laptop or shelf full of creative writing self-help books will get things moving again, instead of just sitting down and doing it.

T.

Pat~
01-03-2008, 07:44 PM
Another thing I learned this year is how much I adore writing humorous poems...and that possibly I should write and submit more for children's publications. I think that may be a new goal for this year.

Stew21
01-03-2008, 07:57 PM
The most important thing I've learned about myself as a writer in 2007 is that I do have the guts to query.

It's not the only thing I learned though. My instincts, the ones I used to ignore, are the things that get the story written. My instincts, which I didn't trust, are the place the story's voice resides.
Oh, and my fiction has a "literary" bent, which sort of ticks me off - could I choose a more challenging, smaller market? UGh! Damn instincts. ;)

quickWit
01-03-2008, 10:32 PM
I have the soul of a poet and the writing skills of a retarded clam.

Damn self-awareness.

paperairplane
01-04-2008, 01:12 AM
What did I learn?
I learned a few things.
(a) Writing personal nonfiction and letting others read it is a little more than I want to handle again anytime in the near future.
(b) People I don't even know actually like my writing, which means I must not completely suck.
(c) I realize I'm just obsessed enough to make it.

scarletpeaches
01-04-2008, 01:15 AM
In a similar vein, I discovered I'm an urban fantasy writer. I always suspected this but didn't totally realise until last year.

Me too. The book I'm writing was the one that made me sit up and go, "Oh. It's YA. And it appears to be urban fantasy."

The lesbian shapeshifting catpeople kinda gave it away...

davids
01-04-2008, 01:55 AM
I learned I do not-nor have I ever-given a pooper's tinkerbelle!

DonnaDuck
01-04-2008, 06:20 AM
Ok, question. What, exactly, is urban fantasy and how does it differ from fantasy?

JeanneTGC
01-04-2008, 06:49 AM
Ok, question. What, exactly, is urban fantasy and how does it differ from fantasy?
Probably are a variety of answers, but I understand it to be fantasy happening right in the here and now. See a fairy across the street of your suburban neighborhood? Urban fantasy.

Some of it could be setting, too, but again, the fantastic happening in the here and now, sort of thing.

Mom'sWrite
01-04-2008, 07:23 AM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was...

that I can write daily, while exhausted, amid screaming children, even against my will.

that I can walk away from the joys and titillating conversation of AW for a little while and bury myself in writing.

that some of what I wrote didn't suck.

pollykahl
01-06-2008, 10:11 PM
In 2007 I learned that I couldn't write, and then I learned how to. This was after being told my whole life that I could write. It was the best thing I could've learned, and I'm glad I learned it beofre submitting atrocious crap to agents and publishers. Now I'm finishing up my book and I'll have a much better chance of having it published than I would've a year ago.

Lesson #2: This is a business.

speirbhean
01-07-2008, 12:03 AM
I learned;

I have an awful habit of switching genres, and wanting to write something similiar to the last great book I read :Shrug:

I can write well ('cos an agent said so) but haven't found the 'big idea' yet (which is what she also said)

One request for a full can give me enough inspiration to write for a year!!

So here's to a big '08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

akiwiguy
01-07-2008, 12:55 AM
My instincts, the ones I used to ignore, are the things that get the story written. My instincts, which I didn't trust, are the place the story's voice resides.


I realised I've been fishing around looking for some complicated "key" that doesn't exist. To the extent of my current ablity, I know how to write, and have do what comes naturally.

Forgetting fiction even, which I've had a lot of good feedback about, a dear friend who is very successful in her own field and uses technical writers a lot said to me recently words to the effect, "I pay writers thousands for dollars for work that I immediately redline most of anyway. I've never come across anyone who expresses themselves the way you do." Unfortunately there are frustrating legal reasons that make it most likely that this won't directly translate to work in the immediate future.

But I'm starting to think, how many of us on here are bogged down by insecurities, fishing around for something clever, forever terrified of even daring to submit, when maybe it's time to trust our own instincts?

Dasence
01-07-2008, 05:48 AM
I've learned:

-that people around me (mainly coworkers and family members) are hoping I get published almost as much as I am

-that a cat sitting at my shoulder is one of the best motivators for writing instead of wasting time on the computer

-that I should have listened to my husband and have started writing short stories and things other than YA long ago

-that my characters shrug and sigh WAY too much. I need new words

Madison
01-07-2008, 07:16 AM
My revelation: it's really nice to have friends know that you write. i feel a lot less like a spy with a deadly secret.

ATP
01-07-2008, 04:11 PM
My product (non-fiction) is good and very desirable, but that I need to alter my strategy concerning positioning of myself in the marketplace.

Icarus Iscariot
01-08-2008, 07:13 AM
i learned that learning is the root of all evil.
i learned how to unlearn.
i learned how to lose my fiance, my job, my friends and my money.
i learned that everything i learn will in time do more harm than good.

Ritergal
01-15-2008, 10:11 AM
I learned that it's even more fun to get paid for writing than to simply write for the fun of it! Who would have thought?

Hunbun
02-09-2008, 02:08 AM
I learned that I don't want to be a writer. I loved decorating an office after my retirement from teaching. I read every home office decorating article I could get my hands on and spend months looking through office furniture and decor websites.

I loved the idea of working in my pj's while sipping tea. I loved the thought of my friends thinking I was doing something really cool. I used the excuse that I was "working" to avoid housework and laundry and unwanted phone calls. I spent days at libraries and bookstores researching how to be a writer.

What I learned is that I LOVE to research non-fiction subjects of my choosing. I get off on tangents and spend weeks researching and collecting material on any and every subject that appeals to me. I arrange my files meticulously and even write outlines for books/articles on the subjects. I have a 4 drawer filing cabinet stuffed with folders of interest.

But I have no desire to actually sit down and write. I want nothing to do with editors, agents, publishers and queries. I don't want the stress of deadlines and the possible rejections (I have never submitted an article).

This isn't meant to be a downer- I am enjoying working in my office daily researching things I'm interested in. My office is beautiful-sage green with French doors and lined baskets of books on the shelves. It would be the perfect atmosphere for writing-for someone who likes to write.

Luckily, my teacher's pension and husband's salary afford us a comfortable enough living and I have the leeway to keep on researching.

Sherry

DamaNegra
02-09-2008, 06:30 AM
I learned that I can actually write something half-decent. I learned that I am my worst obstacle.

donroc
02-09-2008, 06:36 AM
I learned that perseverance works, provided one lives long enough.

Matera the Mad
02-09-2008, 06:41 AM
Umm...I learned how to use regular expressions to search for certain types of phrases.

Glances nervously around at all the blank stares...

brokenfingers
02-09-2008, 06:48 AM
I learned the difference between they're, their, and there. Their pretty easy once you get the hang of it.

For 2008, I'm going to master the use of it's and its. Once I do, I'll be almost they're as a writer.

SadieCass
02-09-2008, 07:04 AM
I admittedly have two things I found out...both equally as important...

The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was...

1) That I CAN and HAVE finished a MS and faced rejection for it...and survived.
2) That I DO have more than one story inside of me!

dreamsofnever
02-11-2008, 10:15 AM
It's a bit past 2007, but I learned that, as much as I would like to make a living writing, I am much happier when writing for the fun of writing and not obsessing over whether or not it's 'publishable.'

Hopefully in 2008, I'll learn the balance and writing something that IS publishable without obsessing. :)

jessicaorr
02-11-2008, 06:24 PM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was... the first draft doesn't have to be perfect.

THAT was a revelation...

S.H.P.
02-11-2008, 07:09 PM
I learned this year that I found my strong suit in writing and it fits perfectly. What I wanted to write about, or at least told myself I was good at, is not what fits my abilities.

The Scip
02-11-2008, 07:18 PM
I learned that I can write novels not just short stories.
I learned that I can finish a novel and start a second one.
I learned that I am no where near running out of stories to write.

HourglassMemory
02-11-2008, 08:07 PM
The most important thing I discovered about myself as a writer in 2007 was... the first draft doesn't have to be perfect.

THAT was a revelation...

Same.

myscribe
02-11-2008, 08:30 PM
The most important thing I learned about my writing in 2007 is:

I am strong in all types of voice. Before, I thought I was only strong in first person. Now, I know I can write a piece in another type of voice, and it will work.

Just don't ask me what voice is, okay? 'Cause I'm not sure I know - but at least I'm good at something... ;)

lucky8
02-12-2008, 03:55 AM
The most important thing I learned is that I actually want to write, not just to be a writer.

lfraser
02-12-2008, 10:20 AM
I learned that if you write one word and then another, and do that for an hour or two almost every day, sooner or later you end up with 350 pages of story. Not done yet, not even close, but still...350 pages. Whooda thunk it?

Sean D. Schaffer
02-12-2008, 10:54 AM
I learned that I write and create best when I'm not pressuring myself. If I just do the work for the sheer sake of enjoyment, the words flow much more fully.

I also learned that I need to make a set of goals for my writing career, or else I'll never really get up off the ground. I can do it, but it takes real work.

Phaeal
02-12-2008, 11:03 PM
Thanks to taking the NaNoWriMo challenge for my most recent novel, I've learned I can easily write 1000 words a day -- hey, I wrote 1667 plus a day all through December! I also learned, of necessity, that it really is all right not to go back and edit before the whole work is done.

DWSTXS
02-12-2008, 11:36 PM
I learned that one thing mightier than a pen, is an editing hatchet.

Autodidact
02-12-2008, 11:42 PM
I learned that I can knock out an article in time to meet a deadline--and they weren't bad, either.